Your Questions Answered
What is the Victim Services Program?
The Victim Services Program (VSP) is a direct service program that provides free services and support to victims and survivors of intimate partner violence and certain other crimes regardless of a person’s gender or sexual identity.
The length of time since law enforcement involvement (or the lack of), or the length of time since the assault, abuse, or crime has no impact on services in most instances.
Who is eligible for services?
Any person, Tribal or non-tribal, who meets the following criteria:
- A victim/survivor of intimate partner domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, dating violence, or child sexual abuse.
- A family member or friend needing information about how to support a victim/survivor.
- A resident of either Manistee, Wexford, Mason, Lake, Oceana, Newaygo, Muskegon, Ottawa, or Kent county.
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria, the VSP staff can assist you with referrals to other appropriate agencies.
How much do services cost?
All of the program’s services are grant-funded; therefore, all services are provided to clients without charge!
What services are available?
The VSP provides assistance to both Native and non-native persons who are, or have been, impacted by intimate partner domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, dating violence, or child sexual abuse.
Examples of services include:
- Crisis intervention and safety planning,
- Cultural, personal, and legal advocacy,
- Emergency shelter assistance,
- Transitional housing assistance,
- Assistance with filing for Crime Victims Compensation,
- Referrals to support groups, counseling, and other appropriate resources, and
- Emergency financial assistance.
Will my privacy be protected?
The VSP staff maintains strict client confidentiality as protected under Federal, State, and Tribal law, and as required by the program’s grant funders.
But my partner doesn’t hit me!
Abuse is more than physical harm. Intimate partner violence is a pattern of behavior in a relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, spiritual, cultural, or any other actions that cause intimidation, manipulation, humiliation, isolation, coercion, fear, etc. If you are not sure if you are in an abusive relationship, the VSP staff is available to consult with you.
Advocacy services empower people to make positive changes in their lives. Read what survivors have to say:
"If it weren't for domestic violence advocacy, I would probably still be married to my abuser. My advocate helped me understand and complete my divorce paperwork, all the while encouraging me and empowering me to take the next steps toward my freedom."-Domestic Violence Survivor
"Domestic violence advocacy helped my son become the man he is today! As a child, he witnessed his father mistreat me. Once we were safely away from the abuse, I sought help for my son because I wanted him to learn that real men don't hit women. Today, as a grown man, when he feels frustrated and angry with his wife, he calls me and asks to talk, expressing to me that he doesn't want to be like his dad."-Domestic Violence Survivor